It is snowing now; the strange white stuff does not fall from the sky very often where we live. When it does and accumulates to anywhere near 1 inch, we call it a snow storm and make snow men with zest. A certain person makes chicken vindaloo; I am not naming names, but will share a recipe with you today.
After being surrounded by so much food trivia these days, we now know that vindaloo, originally had no “aloo” in it. The name is derived from Portuguese words for wine and garlic. But I wouldn’t be upset if you decide to throw in some potato chunks into the recipe that we have here, the curry can definitely stand it
Like many other Goan recipes Vindaloo is a blend of the best of both worlds. The spice mix is very easy to make, as you do not need all the components of the garam masala, but having some Kashmiri chilly powder in your pantry is very helpful.
Chicken pieces (bite size) – 2 lbs
Garlic cloves – enough to fill ¼ cup
Ginger chopped – ¼ cup
Whole cloves – 8 nos
Black pepper – 10 nos
Cinnamon – One 3 inch stick
Cumin – 1 tsp
Kashmiri chilly powder – 3 tbsp
Vinegar – ¼ cup
Onion thinly sliced – 1 ¾ cup
Oil – 3 tbsp
Salt- 1 tsp
Cilantro – to garnish
Heat a thick bottomed pan, lightly brush with oil. Add garlic cloves; roast it for about five minutes at medium heat, frequently tossing with a spoon. Do not let the cloves char. Transfer the roasted garlic cloves to a bowl. To the hot pan now add whole cloves, black pepper and cinnamon and roast for a minute, add cumin, stir well, turn off the heat and quickly add the chilly powder. Mix everything together with a spoon. Let it cool down. To a blender jar add all the roasted ingradeints, ½ tsp salt, ginger and vinegar. Grind to a fine paste. Pat dry the chicken pieces with a paper towel, add the ground spice mix, and toss very well to coat. Cover the bowl and refrigerate over night (at least 6 hours)
On the next day, heat a pan and add half a spoon of oil. Add ¾ cup onions, sauté until tender, do not let the onions change color. Transfer to a blender jar and grind to a smooth puree. Add to the marinated chicken and mix well to combine. Heat a large pan for making the curry. Add 1 tbsp oil, when the oil is hot add the remaining onion pieces and sauté till golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain excess oil on a paper towel, keep aside.
Add 1 tbsp oil to the same pan, when the oil is hot, add the chicken pieces, and stir well for the first 1 minute. Now keep the heat at medium, and stand back till the chicken pieces start caramelizing. This could take 5-10 minutes. Toss the pieces occasionally to help with even browning. The more time you spend on this step, the tastier the curry gets. After some time you will see oil separating. Now add 1 1/2 cups of water and caramelized onions, give the curry a final gentle toss with a spoon. Keep the lid on, and turn the heat to medium. Let the curry slowly simmer for the next 20 minutes. Turn of the heat and keep 5 more minutes with the lid on before serving. Serve garnished with cilantro. I some time add some sautéed strips of jalapeno skin at this point, but that is purely optional. Serve with plain cooked rice, or with flat breads.
* If you are not able to find Kashmiri chilly powder use half regular chilly powder and half paprika.